Skip to main content

5 Minute Bible

This is a series of podcasts, relating to the academic and Christian reading of the Bible. They are all around 5 minutes in length. I am a teacher of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament who for most of the last two decades has worked both in a secular University and in a denominational seminary.

These recordings aim to bring the two parts of my professional life together, in a way that is useful to thinking Christians, pastors and theological students.

165
RESULTS
rss



PART OF
Podcasts

TOPIC atoz
bible 62
E100 51
Jesus 41
genesis 14
Matthew 13
Acts 11
Bible 11
John 10
Luke 10
Reading 10
exodus 10
e100 9
Paul 8
genre 7
humour 6
Law 5
Ruth 5
Titus 5
amos 5
humor 5
jonah 5
psalms 5
Joshua 4
Peter 4
Psalms 4
Sin 4
gospel 4
judges 4
God 3
Grace 3
Jonah 3
NT 3
death 3
lament 3
sin 3
David 2
Exodus 2
Faith 2
Genre 2
Gospel 2
Mark 2
Yahweh 2
david 2
fall 2
flood 2
grace 2
isaiah 2
job 2
law 2
poetry 2
rules 2
ruth 2
saul 2
spirit 2
wisdom 2
Canon 1
Daniel 1
Ezra 1
Gender 1
Hannah 1
Humour 1
Isaiah 1
Job 1
Judges 1
Luke 1 1
Luke 2 1
Luke 3 1
Q'ran 1
Romans 1
Samuel 1
Saul 1
Sex 1
Way 1
acts 1
adults 1
amosd 1
babel 1
birth 1
censor 1
cliche 1
cotext 1
elijah 1
esther 1
exile 1
SHOW DETAILS
up-solid down-solid
eye
Title
Date Published
Creator
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 112
favorite 0
comment 0
Amos 7:14 is a striking problem for interpreters, not least because what Amos is reported as saying to Amaziah seems to contradict what he is reported to be doing in the rest of the book. This makes it fertile ground for us to incorporate either our presuppositions or rhetoric into the text. (I use the NIV and Grasping Godâs Word) as examples in this but do not intend disrespect for the translators or authors, just to suggest they are human too! Duvall, J. Scott, and J. Daniel Hays. Grasping...
Topics: bible, amos, prophecy, context, reading
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 209
favorite 0
comment 0
Amos 7:14 is a striking problem for interpreters, not least because what Amos is reported as saying to Amaziah seems to contradict what he is reported to be doing in the rest of the book. This makes it fertile ground for us to incorporate either our presuppositions or rhetoric into the text. (I use the NIV and Grasping God's Word) as examples in this but do not intend disrespect for the translators or authors, just to suggest they are human too! Duvall, J. Scott, and J. Daniel Hays. Grasping...
Topics: bible, amos, prophecy, context, reading
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
Gapping, where hearers have to "fill in" information that is missing in the text, is a really significant part of biblical story-telling. So, I'll need to introduce the idea to next year's Biblical Narrative class. Normally we "gap" unconsciously, and not just when reading narratives as I hope I'll show you in this podcast. We'll also begin to think about what makes gapping more - or less - legitimate. (See 2 Corinthians 11)
Topics: 2 corinthians, gapping, narrative, interpretation, bible, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
In What is the Bible (Part 1) I talked of the Bible as witness, and mentioned stories where Abraham and Amos haggle with God, and ended with a reference to arguing with God in the Bible. Here I'll begin to explore Jeremiahâs side of the conversation from Jer 12:1-4 (we'll get to God's reply later!)
Topics: bible, arguing with god, Jeremiah, complaint, lamentation, lament, genre
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
In What is the Bible (Part 1) I talked of the Bible as witness, and mentioned stories where Abraham and Amos haggle with God, and ended with a reference to arguing with God in the Bible. Here I'll begin to explore Jeremiahâs side of the conversation from Jer 12:1-4 (we'll get to God's reply later!)
Topics: Arguing with God, Complaint, Genre, bible
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 90
favorite 0
comment 0
This podcast is aimed at real beginners in biblical study and addresses why multiple contexts are important for reading/hearing texts, particularly the Bible.
Topics: bible, context, interpretation, reading, culture, genesis psalms
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 60
favorite 0
comment 0
For the second part of this "A text without contexts is dumb" series we'll think about cotext, the text that surrounds a text, providing context. The biblical examples come from Psalms and Ephesians. You might want to listen to Part 1 here first ;)
Topics: Context, Ephesians, Psalms, bible, cotext, interpretation
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 75
favorite 0
comment 0
Stephen suggested I do a 'cast about the Babel story, so here it is :) a first 'cast about Babel. In this one I'll begin with points of view and language. Since this will have to be a series we'll follow up from there later! For more about "point of view" and "frames" you could see my Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Poetics which is not as technical as it may sound!
Topics: genesis, narrative, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 84
favorite 0
comment 0
This podcast takes a second look at Babel, with a focus on the structure of the story, and its themes. It includes "homework" for which you should ideally have a photocopy of Genesis 11:1-9 (preferably in a fairly literal translation like NRSV, RSV, TNIV, NIV, ESVâ¦) and some coloured markers or crayons.
Topics: gemesis, structure, bible, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 72
favorite 0
comment 0
In this podcast we'll begin to grapple with a complicated idea, but quite simply begin to discover how to become (more) ideal readers. We'll be looking at Eph 4 , and you will also need a bookmark in Ps 68 . This is a podcast in two parts (otherwise I'd have to change the name to 10 minute Bible, so do listen to tomorrow's episode after today's ;)
Topics: audio.bible, ephesians, psalms, Reading, interpretation
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 69
favorite 0
comment 0
In part two we get drawn to the hymn in Phil 2 and discover not only what Jesusâ disscension is all about, but also get to understand the talk of us being gifts in Eph 4:11-13 better. (If you have not listened to part 1 do listen to that first.)
Topics: context, ephesians, Jesus, philippians, Reading
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 194
favorite 0
comment 0
Eric Auerbach's famous quote about Biblical Narrative being "fraught with background" can sound puzzling. Here I'll try to explain it with reference to some trivial but intriguing details in Genesis 24. Reading the chapter in the Hebrew class we spotted several minor details in the telling that suggest, or hint ;) well, listen and find out what!
Topics: bible, narrative, narratology, genesis
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 227
favorite 0
comment 0
Bonhoeffer has some hugely stimulating ideas in his discussion of the "fall" story in Genesis 3. Probably none are more stimulating, or easy to fail to grasp as his thought about "conscience" - at least difficult for people for whom the idea that conscience is the "voice of God within" is deeply embedded, since Bonhoeffer almost reverses that idea, noticing that it is conscience that drives the first humans away from God!
Topics: deitrich bonhoeffer, genesis, theology, fall
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 299
favorite 0
comment 0
The distinction between casuistic and apodictic formulations of "legal" material in the Bible, seems like a prime example of scholarship which has lost touch with the needs of real Bible readers. Not least the abstruse technical language puts people off. Yet this distinction has deeply theological consequences, and Jesus seems to "fulfill" OT law (at least in part) by rephrasing the casuistic as apodictic. In this first part I'll begin the boring stuff, and introduce what...
Topics: Jesus, Law, Matthew, Reading, bible, casuistic, apodictic, genre
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
In this Iâll tell you how I think Jesus offers the key to how we should understand the casuistic laws of the Old Testament. Itâs simple, but as Iâll go on to show in later âcasts profound. The clue is found in a passage weâve looked at before (Matt 5) especially in Matt 5:17-22. (See here for that âcast, and here for a whole sermon ;) .
Topics: Jesus, Law, Matthew, Reading, bible, casuistic, apodictic, genre
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 80
favorite 0
comment 0
We look at how Jesus reads other Bible passages (still in Matthew 5) to begin confirming the hypothesis that to read Scripture with Jesus is to make it so extreme that rules (casuistic law) become goals (apodictic command). Before you get to the next podcast it would be a good idea to listen to "What DOES 'fulfil' mean?" and "Jesus as fulfilment of Scripture: Slavery and Spanking"
Topics: Jesus, Law, Matthew, Reading, bible, casuistic, apodictic, genre
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 74
favorite 0
comment 0
Often in biblical narrative things "just seem to happen", rather like they do in our lives ;) But are such "happenings" chance or divine providence at work? We'll try to decide, using Gen 37:12ff. (read with Gen 39) and Ruth 2 as examples.
Topics: Gapping, Genesis, Narrative, Ruth, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 73
favorite 0
comment 0
Sometimes a good old-fashioned cliché is the best way to achieve your desired effect, and communicate your theological message. I'll illustrate this using Joshua 11:1-9. The story of how Jabin of Hazor and all his allied kings were defeated by Joshua and Israel. (With some help from their friend!)
Topics: cliche, theology, joshua, narrative, bible
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 83
favorite 0
comment 0
This post starts to talk about Psalm 22, mentioning Job 10 on the way, we will examine these passages as a way into understanding "complaint psalms". Complaints are the commonest type of psalm in the book of psalms. You might like to listen to my earlier post "Arguing with God: Jer 12:1-4" first, it sets the scene for this one, and should probably have been called "Complaint psalms: Part One"! I hope the next post - in a few days - will follow up looking some more...
Topics: Arguing with God, Complaint, Job, Psalms, lament, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 68
favorite 0
comment 0
This second look at the complaint psalms continues to focus on Psalm 22. Part three will return to Jeremiah.
Topics: Arguing with God, Complaint, Psalms, lament, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 122
favorite 0
comment 0
There are many ways in which the story-tellers of the Bible ensure that their tellings are lively and engaging. One is through the way they report speech. There is usually more "direct speech" (where the words of a character are "quoted") then "indirect speech" (where the teller tells us the gist of what the character said). This direct speech is often skillfully crafted to give a lively and rich portrayal of the person. The podcast begins with cases where a group...
Topics: 1 Samuel, Jonah, Narrative, Ruth
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 249
favorite 0
comment 0
Another of the most mysterious and difficult stories in the Bible, this time not difficult because the subject pains us, but difficult to understand. We Westerners are hung up on "understanding", sometimes it is better to "stand under" (and learn from) than to understand ;) This may be one of them! If we try to understand the story of Jacob's fight we quickly get a headache, nothing quite works of provides all the answers. (See a fine website produced by Kirsten Abbott in...
Topics: Arguing with God, E100, Genesis
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 64
favorite 0
comment 0
In these chapters we see again very strongly that we are not told by the text how to understand people's actions, in these chapters we have to judge Joseph and his brothers, using the knowledge of good, evil and everything in between that is part of our experience as children of Eve and of Adam. And in this reading motives are far from clear cut!
Topics: bible, genesis, e100, narrative, gapping
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 72
favorite 0
comment 0
Our last reading left things open-ended - this shows full and dramatic reconciliation, an explosion of emotion from Joseph, and a clue as to what made the difference between last reading and this one. It makes so much difference to how we live if we really recognise what is going on, and Joseph can give us a clue too...
Topics: bible, genesis, e100, joseph
5 Minute Bible
- Dr Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 73
favorite 0
comment 0
In reading (by which I mean understanding, making sense of) these chapters weâll find that noticing unusual details, things that stick out, can be a real clue to what is important. Naming, and not naming, are really significant here, not least that God is not named â oh, Godâs talked about, but âGodâ is a title or description not a name, this âGodâ will get a name in the next chapter⦠Here, too, well find that hearing echoes of other parts of Scripture can be strong clues to meaning....
Topics: exodus, narrative, biblical studies, theology, God
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 81
favorite 0
comment 0
What matters, what really matters, is getting the holy between our toes. In this reading we discover Moses getting on first name terms wiuth God, and what (perhaps) God's name means. This is "holy ground" even compared to most other parts of the Bible, so take your shoes off, and listen. No, God's name yhwh does not just mean the 'One who is' and it for sure does not mean "Don't ask, because I won't tell you!" but to find out what more I think it means listen in ;)
Topics: exodus, narrative, biblical studies, theology, God, Yahweh, name of God
5 Minute Bible
- Dr Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 77
favorite 0
comment 0
What else could we call it? God vs. Pharaoh, it's a foregone conclusion â exceptâ¦
Topics: exodus, narrative, biblical studies, theology, God, Yahweh, name of God
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 66
favorite 0
comment 0
I'm torn two ways on how to respond to this reading: * on one side, a great opportunity to explain Passover, the great festival that celebrates God as liberator, saviour and enimy of powerful oppressors * on the other, when I read (the Bible or the Newsâ¦) I tend to sympathise with those who suffer, and while in earlier chapters that's the Israelites, here I feel the pain of bereaved Egyptian parents â how can the God who we have discovered so far in Genesis commit such a barbarous act?...
Topics: exodus, narrative, biblical studies, passover
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 84
favorite 0
comment 0
The first reading in a series covering the 100 essential Bible readings, contains Genesis 1-2. The 50 passages from each Testament together give an overview of the whole Bible. Today we begin at the beginning with the first teo chapters of Genesis. I also dealt with Genesis 1 in a previous post. By the way there is a reading of the passage (if you want to hear rather than see it on PodBible.com). There is an RSS feed for the E100 series only.
Topics: bible, genesis, prologue
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 62
favorite 0
comment 0
In this podcast we'll notice just how firmly this passage tells us that the miracle at the Reed Sea* was indeed entirely a miracle. We'll notice how good source critics were/are at spotting small discrepancies in texts, but also how little the composers of the Bible seemed to care about detail, concerned with things that matter (relationships, especially and particularly our relationship with God) rather than "facts" which are merely of secondary importance. And, watching and...
Topics: exodus, narrative, biblical studies, red sea, reed sea
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 102
favorite 0
comment 0
This reflection focuses on two things from this reading, the significance of calling Israel (in the context of making a covenant) a priestly kingdom and a holy nation, and how we should read/understand the ten commandments. (For that part it may help to listen to some of the podcasts here, in particular Casuistic and apodictic: part 1: What the terms mean.) We'll also end by realising what it means to say Yahweh is a jealous God, and very briefly start thinking about what that jealousy means....
Topics: exodus, law, ten commandments
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 66
favorite 0
comment 0
This passage was probably chosen because it contains two famous "Bible stories", the Golden Calf (in which a priest does what the people want, and becomes so successful that drunkenness, idolatry and other stupidity reigns) and the time Moses got to see God's backside. But more troublingly it is another passage where God commands and demands killing. I can't offer easy answers, indeed in one 5 minute podcast what did you expect ;) but I will return to these passages and examine the...
Topics: exodus, bible, golden calf, idolatry
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 77
favorite 0
comment 0
This chapter focuses on Joshua taking over from Moses, now that (at the end of Deuteronomy) Moses is dead and gone (though no one except God) saw him die. In the reading we learn a lot about how the Bible views leadership, and it does not easily fit with any of our modern, well-worn patterns. Thank God! We also (not coincidentally) learn about cooperation among God's people.
Topics: Joshua, Bible, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 68
favorite 0
comment 0
For today's reading there are historical (standing stones) and geographic (the Jordan river) information that is important, and perhaps better communicated by pictures and words, rather than words alone. So here are some relevant pictures, with brief captions... See the original post.
Topics: Joshua, jordan, bible
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 70
favorite 0
comment 0
A great Sunday School story again raises the issue of divinely ordered brutal killing, which will need a small series of 5 Minute Bible 'casts outside this E100 series, which I am committed to doing... The story is also in several ways full of creative tensions, that raise it beyond a nice tale for kiddies into a thoroughly thought provoking story for adults, with some profound and striking theological points to make. I'll even get the chance to talk (briefly) about Amos! (As well as Amos 4:...
Topics: Joshua, Bible, biblical studies, jericho, amosd
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 83
favorite 0
comment 0
There's a nasty cycle that repeats time and again in Judges, and that forms a theme of the history in the books of Samuel and Kings too: * Israel forgets that Yhwh is the ONE who has given them everything * they start to worship/serve other Gods * God allows an enemy to oppress them * they call to God â who raises up a strong leader who by God's power rescues them This pattern was described in Deuteronomy so these books (with Joshua) get called the "Deuteronomistic History" by...
Topics: deuteronomist, deuteronomistic history, deuteronomy, judges, bible, bible study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 75
favorite 0
comment 0
The story of Deborah, the prophetess and judge, is one of those biblical stories told to us twice, first in a prose narrative and then in a poetic celebration (the Exodus crossing of the sea in Ex 14 & 15 provides another example). In this case the details, what Western minds call "facts" and worship above all other sorts of information, are strikingly different between the two tellings: * In chapter 4: there is a focus on Canaanite oppression of the people of Israel, the battle...
Topics: judges, deborah, poetry, prose, narrative, bible
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
It's certainly hard to find a superhero in the Bible! Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and even Moses - all fail - though some of them look good the way we try to... by comparison with their neighbours, family or friends think of how Moses shines when compared to Aaron. But Samson! He's super strong, has a fatal weakness, and a secret identity (as a Nazirite :) However in this podcast we'll look closer, and in noticing some details of how the story is told uncover what is really going on ;)
Topics: samson, bible, judges
5 Minute Bible
- Tim Bulkeley
audio
eye 76
favorite 0
comment 0
This is the passage that makes sense of Gen 2, and of human life. Our world and our lives are broken and spoiled because of sin. Sin is not breaking rules, it is breaking relationship with the maker by wanting to assume the power ourselves. The reading of Genesis 3 is here. There is another take on this passage, talking about Bonhoefferâs paradoxical take on âconscienceâ in an earlier podcast.
Topics: bible, creation, genesis, sin, fall
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 79
favorite 0
comment 0
Well, Judges was thoroughly censored for E100, as it is for most church use, the bits we got were the rare good bits, cf. my Twisted tales: or should the book of Judges be censored? (which got me into trouble with a fundamentalist who could not be bothered to actually listen to what I was saying before condemning me to hell - so it may be worth listening to ;) Ruth is about âredemptionâ, the need for husband for Ruth and so a baby to continue the âhouse of Elimelekâ and to provide for the...
Topics: ruth, reading, narrative, biblical
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 64
favorite 0
comment 0
Three great chapters, full of well crafted narrative, with a stirring song thrown in! There is too much detail to notice in the way these stories are told, you'll have to watch for the fun yourselves. In this 'cast I'll focus more on the song, and not so much on its detail as overall how it works. (For more background on this see my Why Read the Bible? Dreams and visions which is part of a longer series of reflections on Lost Treasures of the Bible: reading "from another place":...
Topics: 1 Samuel, Narrative, biblical narrative, Samuel, Hannah
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 58
favorite 0
comment 0
This is the story in which we hear the interface between Judges, "Everyone did as they saw fit, for there was no king in Israel", and the story of the Hebrew kingdoms. In these few chapters there is loads of good stuff to notice (for a start try): Humour in the Bible: Part 1: Introducing Saul Humour in the Bible: Part 2: Still Introducing Saul Direct speech in biblical narratives But this time I'll restrain myself, and just mention one or two neat narrative details. Instead I'll talk...
Topics: 1 Samuel, Narrative, biblical narrative
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 54
favorite 0
comment 0
Yes, like some of the Bible writers, I just can't resist a pun, especially if it really does help carry the message :) And in this case I think it does, more specifically after we have noticed quickly some of the good stuff in the famous David and Goliath story of David and Goliath. For this podcast, perhaps as homework, you might want to play with a computer Bible... and you might also want to return to the comments, and discuss the vexed question of the nature of blasphemy against the Holy...
Topics: 1 Samuel, Narrative, biblical narrative, Matthew, pun
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 54
favorite 0
comment 0
Just when you begin to wonder if any Bible story is really suitable for simple Sunday School reading, and have begun to suspect that the Bible has no message but: Humans are broken and need mending, humnans are sinful and therefore they keep spoiling God's lovely world and hurting each other. Along comes a story to remind us of another truth... Just as the story of Ruth followed the grime of Judges, so now in 1 Samuel 24 we get a story, set amid the war and political jostling of the beginnings...
Topics: 1 Samuel, Narrative, biblical narrative, Saul, David
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 94
favorite 0
comment 0
Bible stories, with a few exceptions (maybe some parables for example) do NOT have nice neat "morals". If you want to say "and the moral of the story is..." don't read the Bible. But by contrast if you want people with real depth, who make it difficult for us to work out what their motives are, and therefore hard to simply place them in appropriate "boxes", the Bible is the book for you :) In this reading we'll notice depth and complexity in two of the less central...
Topics: 2 Samuel, narrative, Bible stories
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 117
favorite 0
comment 0
These two chapters mark the turning point in David's story. They offer vital clues also to how we "read" biblical narratives. * Nathan's story within a story provides hints, abouit the nature of narrative meaning * David's strange behaviour during his child's illness and on his death provides both a clue to an interpretative rule, and some good practice :)
Topics: 2 Samuel, Narrative, biblical narrative, Bathsheba, David
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 94
favorite 0
comment 0
In just two chapters we get some of the most beautiful and inspiring, and some of the grubbiest and most bloodthirsty stories in the Bible. It is no wonder that telling the stories of David (with Saul and Solomon and perhaps the rest) as a serial, like a soap opera has the audience panting for more :) In this podcast I'll again point to clues to how we can, and (often of more use) how we should NOT "read" Bible stories. I'll also make a shameless plug for my Not Only a Father an...
Topics: 1 Kings, Solomon, biblical, narrative, bible study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 110
favorite 0
comment 0
Solomon's prayer understands that Yahweh is a different God, the gods (like Ba'al and his crowd) lived in the sky â and lanced thunderbolts down on people they disliked - heaven/sky was like the earth only bigger and better. When Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev said "Gagarin flew into space, but didn't see any God there". Solomon's prayer sees the stupidity of Krushchev - how could the creator of universes be see from a measly 302Kms from...
Topics: 1 Kings, Solomon, biblical, narrative, bible study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 38
favorite 0
comment 0
Since this is a gripping, but well-known, story what I'll try to do in this podcast is show you how a bit of context (see here for more on context and understanding the Bible). I'll also tell you God's two nicknames, in some religious traditions knowing all a god's names is really important, in Hinduism the god Vishnu has 1,000 names, in Islam there is a tradition that God has 99 names. Yahweh the God the Bible talks about has kicknames as well as formal names! A couple of photos to illustrate...
Topics: 1 Kings, elijah, mt carmel, biblical, narrative, bible study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 76
favorite 0
comment 0
I think I've avoided really looking at this passage, and I notice that my teaching has focused too much on the signs of two source texts being edited together, and noticed too little how the story works, because like the genocide texts it offends my sense of right. The story looks different when one hears it as an exploration of the theme of sin and righteousness, as I'll try to here.
Topics: bible, genesis, e100, flood
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 88
favorite 0
comment 0
Today's is a grim reading. But such brutality was not unusual in the Ancient Near East. The Assyrians, for example, when they captured the Judean city of Lachish after a siege in 701BC impaled the surviving leaders outside the city, and left a mass grave of 1,500 people (mainly women and children). Despite what one might even see as gentle treatment of the city by the Babylonians in 586, the fall of Jesusalem marked Hebrew thought deeply because it was God's city, their last toehold of...
Topics: 2 Kings, Jerusalem, biblical, narrative, bible study, exile
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 118
favorite 0
comment 0
Perhaps the best known and popular psalm among both Jews and Christiansbut not easy to categorise, except that it expresses trust in God. The imagery makes even better sense when some geography and culture is understood: sheep follow shepherds, they are not left on the hills and then driven green pastures, means land where there is some green vegetation, not just rocks and dust wadis: steep sided gorges, semi-desert little vegetation, quick run off from hills = flash floods For more on this see...
Topics: psalms, psalm 23, 23rd psalm, lord is my shepherd, shepherd psalm, bible, biblical study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 92
favorite 0
comment 0
The biblical text tells us how to read this psalm. Whether or not we agree with those who see the words âbuild the walls of Jerusalemâ at the end as a reference to the need to (re)build after the destruction of 586, and so (perhaps along with other reasons) see the psalm as actually written later, we are told to read the psalm against the story of David's sin and Nathan's visit NB: the headings like are often printed as if they had less authority than the big bold headings Bible publishers...
Topics: psalms, psalm 51, david, bible, biblical study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 89
favorite 0
comment 0
There are some technical details to explain: what a "hymn" is (not a long old-fashioned worship song), what it means to "bless God" and the meaning of hesed. But mainly this podcast aims to encourage you to hear the celebration of the creator God who is gracious, even to those who do not deserve it, merciful and above all faithful. It's a beautiful psalm, that expresses how God is not "a god" clearly and sharply, and it just begs us to join in blessing Yahweh!
Topics: psalms, psalm 103, bible, biblical study
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 134
favorite 0
comment 0
Most of Proverbs contains collections of proverbs (pithy sayings about life) but the book has a nine chapter prologue and a half chapter epilogue. The epilogue is a poem describing an ideal(ised) wife. The prologue seeks to motivate the student (a young male - notice all the "my son" language) to follow his mother's advice and live a faithful, respectable, respectful, honest life. The last chapters sex up this motivational speech by picturing Wisdom as a woman, who should become the...
Topics: bible, proverbs, wisdom, apocrypha
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 97
favorite 0
comment 0
Proverbs are pithy sayings. Short, thought-provoking, often using vivid imagery proverbs work by making you think. But they are often used as a source of quick simple answers. The book of Proverbs is a collkection of loads of such sayings with a long preface and short epilogue that encourage young men to meditate on this advice. The goal of Proverbs is lives lived well. A proverb can be applied like a Band Aid to appropriate situations, BUT their greatest value is when you meditate them. So...
Topics: bible, proverbs, wisdom, proverb
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 75
favorite 0
comment 0
I have not focused these 5 Minutes on how Is 53 speaks so clearly about Jesus, it is the Old Testament passage that is most clearly, directly and simply fulfilled in Christ. But that status should not make it paradigmatic for undedrstanding how Jesus fulfills Scripture. For more on that (and there is nothing on that in this podcast :( see What DOES "fulfil" mean? And other podcasts on this topic here. Instead in this audio talk I want to focus on reading the prophets. The prophets are...
Topics: history, prophet, prophecy, bible, biblical studies
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 77
favorite 0
comment 0
The call of Jeremiah should really have come before the Isaiah reading, as it gives us a good introduction to what a prophet is, and what prophets do. This reading also gives us a clear idea why prophets were often not much appreciated by the people to whom they were sent to proclaim God's message. There is so much one could talk about here, that I will focus mainly on Jeremiah's call and what that tells us about prophets, to help you understand other prophetic books. I will also talk a little...
Topics: Jeremiah, prophet, prophecy, understanding the prophets, Bible, Old Testament
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 89
favorite 0
comment 0
In this 5 minute recording I try to introduce Daniel, a book that has been placed among the prophets in Christian Bibles (following the tradition of the old Greek translation) but is not a "prophet" in the Hebrew Bible. The book contains two sorts of material, stories about Daniel, like this one "Daniel in the Lions' Den", and records of Daniel's visions, which seem to speak in a half hidden coded language. The visions are rather like Revelation in the New Testament, and...
Topics: Daniel, Bible, biblical study, apocalypitc, lions
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 84
favorite 0
comment 0
These four chapters tell the story of God's prophet Jonah (who attentive Bible students know from 2 Kings 14:25: He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher. This true prophet runs away from God, says a long prayer inside a fish, preaches a five word sermon and converts the capital of an unusually brutal empire,...
Topics: prophet, prophecy, Jonah, Bible, Old Testament, humour, humor
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 81
favorite 0
comment 0
If this was a merely human story youâd expect God's bold attempt at drastic punishment to have an equally bold result. Either humanity reformed, or the rebellion gets deeper ;) But of course neither is possible. humanity is unreformable, just try making a few worthwhile New Year's resolutions to prove that ;) nor is rebellion any deeper possible. So what we get instead is a second old-fashioned word, to add to the collection of outmoded terms we began with "sin" earlier. Here's the...
Topics: bible, genesis, e100, flood
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 104
favorite 0
comment 0
Malachi is a short prophetic book, the name Malachi just means "my messenger" which seems to be what the speaker calls himself. It has no more details of time, place or person in the superscription (as most prophetic books do), but the content suggests Judah after the exile under Persian rule. The book opens opens with a strong statement of Yahweh's election of Israel, using hyperbole (exageration) to make it's impact. "Malachi" accuses his audience of being willing to obey...
Topics: prophet, prophecy, Malachi, Bible, Old Testament
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 78
favorite 0
comment 0
As a child I loved those old hymns that talked about God as a mystery: Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes... Even if at first I had to ask what some of the words meant ;) actually understanding the words doesn't end the mystery... John one has the same effect except the words are easy - it's how they are used that's magic :) This brain twisting poetry is also chock full of solid Christian doctrine.
Topics: Jesus, John, poetry, prologue, prolog, mystery
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 82
favorite 0
comment 0
The first four verses of Luke set up some expectations for the Gospel. Luke tells us he cares about history and evidence, uses posh Greek words some used by historians (especially Jewish history), yet by naming Theophilus and his use of the first person (I) he also sends other signals. This is history but personal, Greek, but embedded in Judaism and especially Scripture. Then the chapter continues with a string of echoes of the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus birth grows out of the Old...
Topics: Luke, Jesus, Luke 1
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 114
favorite 0
comment 0
This is perhaps the chapter of the Bible that more people have partly heard than any other. We have also heard things that aren't there: like the animals around the manger who don't get a mention in Luke's account â perhaps because their presence in houses as well as "stables" they were taken for granted. Most people have a favourite part of this chapter. My childhood favourite is left out of the set reading, but I'll talk about why other bits have stuck in my mind more recently....
Topics: Jesus, birth, christmas, mary, Luke, Luke 2
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 98
favorite 0
comment 0
How would you take to John as preacher in your church? He certainly had an attention grabbing opening: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Luke 3:7 If a little lacking in pastoral skills ;) But for a modern audience it actually gets harder, just as John seems to soften. And then there's Jesus...
Topics: Luke, Jesus, baptism, Luke 3
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 112
favorite 0
comment 0
Matthew has introduced Jesus, giving his genealogy, linking him to the story of God's chosen people in particular to David the great king (messiah) and Abraham the ancestor (patriarch) whom God first chose and blessed to be the blessing of the rest of humanity, and four really interesting women. He has told the birth, with a focus on kingship (messiah) and opposition (Herrod's massacre of innocents). The escape to and return from Egypt â as well as being Messiah Jesus recapitulates Israel....
Topics: Jesus, Matthew, gospel, gospels, incarnation
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 219
favorite 0
comment 0
Matthew and Luke both give short collections of Jesus teaching early in their Gospels (Mt 5-7 and the second half of Luke 6) there are similarities, both e.g. have âThe Beatitudesâ a series of sayings listing sorts of people who will be blessed by God, near the beginning but each sermon (or summary compilation of Jesus' teaching) has a distinct focus and interests. In the Gospels we don't have a transcript of Jesus' life and teaching, but people's retelling of Jesus' life selected and told...
Topics: Jesus, Matthew, gospel, gospels, teaching, Jesus teaching
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 59
favorite 0
comment 0
Prayer and Parables This section is a mix of teaching and parables. There is so much to talk about, so Iâll focus on how Jesus teaches: * like a true Jew! * in parables 6:5-8 sounds just like the prophets: true religion is not about what other people think of us, but Jusus is even more deeply theological. Remember the Bible is about God! Like all of Jesus teaching this is radical stuff the whole Christian music industry risks being demolished at a stroke, not to mention using crosses as...
Topics: E100, Jesus, Matthew, Parable, prayer
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 21
favorite 0
comment 0
This chapter is a big sack of parables, and weâve already seen that a parable is in essence a comparison, where light is thrown on something by talking about something else, better known or more clear or vivid. The parable of the the sower is particularly complicated and developed, with lots of details but still turns on a comparison. Though Jesus does not (at first) tell his audience what it is, he wants them to think: âif you have ears then hear!â There is an English proverb thatâs pretty...
Topics: E100, Grace, Jesus, Matthew, Parable
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 57
favorite 0
comment 0
This chapter is a big sack of parables, and weâve already seen that a parable is in essence a comparison, where light is thrown on something by talking about something else, better known or more clear or vivid. The parable of the the sower is particularly complicated and developed, with lots of details but still turns on a comparison. Though Jesus does not (at first) tell his audience what it is, he wants them to think: "if you have ears then hear!" There is an English proverb...
Topics: E100, Grace, Jesus, Matthew, Parable
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 32
favorite 0
comment 0
OK this story must be one of the best-known that Jesus ever told, everyone has heard it! And if not (at least if they speak English or French or just about any other European language) they know the main characterâs name â The Good Samaritan. Except that, what we know if we know this, is all wrong! Jesus was a prophet so to understand what heâs doing here we need to remind ourselves how Prophets work. So after a quick recap on prophets we think about what Jesus the prophet is doing when he...
Topics: E100, Jesus, Luke, NT, Narrative, Parable, Prophets, Righteousness
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 118
favorite 0
comment 0
OK this story must be one of the best-known that Jesus ever told, everyone has heard it! And if not (at least if they speak English or French or just about any other European language) they know the main characterâs name â The Good Samaritan. Except that, what we know if we know this, is all wrong! Jesus was a prophet so to understand what heâs doing here we need to remind ourselves how Prophets work. So after a quick recap on prophets we think about what Jesus the prophet is doing when he...
Topics: E100, Jesus, Luke, Narrative, NT, Parable, Prophets, Righteousness good Samaritan, Jesus, Luke,...
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 60
favorite 0
comment 0
This is a repost of one of two 5 Minute Bible pieces on Babel. The other one is here: Babel 2: Gen 11 a straight up and down story This time I've used some technical language, but I think it will make sense, however if you do want to learn more about 'point of view' and 'frames' you could see my Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Poetics which is not as technical as it may sound!
Topics: bible, genesis, e100, babel, sin, grace
5 Minute Bible
audio
eye 122
favorite 0
comment 0
This is a chapter of parables. Remember parabole (Greek) or mashal (Hebrew) means a comparison, so ask ourselves whatâs the point of comparison here? One clue is to look at the numbers (no, Iâll not be getting into numerology ;) Another, Jesus gives us himself. And a third comes from noticing where the climax of the story comes. Out of these clues weâll find that the Prodigal Son is not about the prodigal son, or even primarily about his forgiving fatherâ¦
Topics: E100, Jesus, Luke, parables